Advocacy E-News June 22, 2015
June 22, 2015
AN OPPORTUNITY FOR COMPREHENSIVE MENTAL HEALTH REFORM
Representatives Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) have introduced HR 2646, the “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015.” This introduction begins a legislative process toward mental health reform, which is long overdue. NAMI has submitted a letter of support to Representatives Murphy and Johnson indicating our appreciation of their leadership and our commitment to work with them to pass comprehensive mental health legislation.
SENATOR CREIGH DEEDS PLEADS FOR HIPAA REFORM
For the first time since his son’s death, Creigh Deeds, the Virginia state senator and former gubernatorial candidate whose son stabbed him multiple times before committing suicide, testified Tuesday morning before members of Congress. His primary message? The country needs to ease patient privacy laws to help people with severe mental illness and their families.
Among many important provisions, the reintroduced “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act” would include adjustments to the HIPAA Privacy Rule so caretakers of the severely mentally ill can access information in times of crisis.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT HIPAA AND MENTAL HEALTH
Does HIPAA allow a health care provider to communicate with a patient’s family, friends, or other persons who are involved in the patient’s care? YES!
BILL TO OVERHAUL DELIVERY OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE & MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN PRISON
An Assembly panel recently approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Raj Mukherji to overhaul the delivery of substance abuse and mental health treatment throughout the state’s prison system in order to improve long-term outcomes for the incarcerated and save taxpayer dollars. The measure (A-3721), which would establish a three-year pilot program to broaden Medicaid coverage in New Jersey to qualified individuals by reaching out to them through various stages of the state’s criminal justice system.
N.J. SENATE PANEL SUPPORTS COLLEGE SUICIDE PREVENTION MEASURES
A Senate committee approved two bills Thursday aimed at preventing suicide on college campuses. The Senate Higher Education Committee moved the “Madison Holleran Suicide Prevention Act,” The bill, was amended to allow colleges and universities to designate an individual with training and experience with mental health issues to be available to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The committee also released the Madison Holleran Proper Reporting Act, which requires colleges and universities to post information on the number of suicides and attempted suicides of students on their websites.